Jets mean business in 2016

The Jets must forget the past and look to the present if they want to reach the postseason for the first time since 2010

Florham Park N.J. - There will be none of the bold predictions or over-the-top one-liners that rocked the back page for years prior to Todd Bowles arrival. Guarantees are few and far between. At the moment, the only thing that can be guaranteed are the numerous Ryan Fitzpatrick questions directed to Jets players and coaches during media availability. It is a strictly business ideology surrounding the team, as the players reported to training camp for the first time this summer on Wednesday.

Coming off of a 10-win season, expectations for this group has grown to a level that has not been seen since the AFC Championship glory days. The Jets accomplished plenty in 2015, but make no mistake, new challenges will certainly face this year's group. 

"10 wins last year was a great thing," Pro-Bowl center Nick Mangold said. "But, we still have to put the work in this year. Nobody cares if we won 10 games [in 2015]. We are all 0-0." 

It will be important for New York to build off of last season's success while understanding there is a clean slate ahead of them in 2016. The quarterback and receiving records are just a memory in the past for the organization. They look pretty, but are as meaningful as the Jets back-to-back trips to the AFC title game. Something that cannot be forgotten was the bond this team created last season. Chemistry and comfortability will only grow stronger as many members of the defensive and offensive core are returning for year two in Todd Bowles' system. 

"We have a lot of guys back, but it's a new year and we just want to build off of last year," said safety Marcus Gilchrist. "We are working on right now."

They are working on reaching playoff respectability once again. With a combination of young talent and veteran leadership, the Jets are primed for that next step towards January football. But, the main questions are: how effective can the young talent be and can the veteran leadership continue to perform at a high level?

"Our goal is not going to change because we are all a year older," said 10-year veteran David Harris. "At the end of the day, it is just football and we'll try to do our best. We have a good mixture of guys." 

The spotlight grew slightly brighter when the NFL announced on July 15, Tom Brady would accept his suspension and serve the first four games of the 2016 regular season from the sideline. Without Brady, the AFC East is wide open, correct? On the contrary, New England is still a powerhouse team built to win. With Bill Belichick, the Patriots should never be counted out of postseason conversation, especially four games into the season.

On paper, this is undoubtedly the Jets biggest opportunity to dethrone New England's royalty. But, the team remains levelheaded and focused on their business. 

"In this business, it is all about taking care of your own," said LB Erin Henderson. "If [Brady] is suspended four games and we go 0-4, would it matter? We have to do our job and our part to win."

You will not get the Rex Ryan-esque digs at the Brady-less Patriots from these Jets. There is a sense of respect, as New England has owned the AFC East winning the division 13 times out of their last 15 seasons. The 2008 season serves as a daunting reminder of how good a Belichick-coached team could be without Brady, as the Patriots went 11-5, just missing the postseason. 

"[In 08], Brady got hurt and [the Patriots] did pretty well," Mangold reminded the media. "We have a good opportunity to do the best we can. Make predictions all you want, but if you don't put the work in, it won't matter."

Set aside the bold predictions. The circus has left town. Business is business in Florham Park. 


Joe Barone is a staff writer for He can be reached on Twitter (@28JoeBarone), or via email (

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